Paxil use during pregnancy has been linked to several severe and fatal birth defects. These Paxil birth defects caused the FDA to reclassify Paxil’s birth defect risk as Category D, which means there is Positive Evidence of Fetal Risk (Paxil was previously classified as Category C, which means risk of fetal harm cannot be ruled out).

Paxil birth defects include:

  • Heart Defects
  • Primary Pulmonary Hypertension (PPH)
  • Club Foot
  • Premature Births

Paxil use During Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects: Club Foot

A recent study noted that some women that took Selective Serotonin Re-uptake Inhibitor (SSRI) anti-depressants like Paxil during pregnancy, had babies with birth defects including babies born with Club Feet. The exact cause of having such a birth defect is unknown, however, the use of SSRIs like Paxil during pregnancy increases the chance of giving birth to a child with a Club Foot by 5.8%.

Club Foot is a birth defect where a newborn’s foot is turned to the side causing the top of the foot to appear where the bottom should be. The foot, calf, and legs are smaller and shorter than normal and the bones, joints, muscles, and blood vessels are also abnormal. If the club foot is left untreated it can lead to severe discomfort and disability in teenage years.

Club foot occurs in one in every 1000 births, with it twice more common in males over females. This birth defect can occur in only one or in both feet. Club foot can be treated with non-surgical or surgical methods but the foot will never be 100% normal. Paxil use during pregnancy increases the risk of your child suffering from this debilitating birth defect.

Paxil use During Pregnancy Linked to Birth Defects: Premature Births

The American Psychiatric Association performed a study that linked Paxil use (and other SSRI anti-depressants) during pregnancy to significant birth defects, including an increased chance of a premature birth. The study was conducted with 200 pregnant women: 100 suffering from depression and the other 100 psychologically normal. Half of the clinically depressed pregnant women took SSRI anti-depressants, including Paxil, during pregnancy and the other half did not. About 23% that took the SSRI anti-depressants (like Paxil) during pregnancy gave birth to premature babies. Only 6% of the remaining pregnant women had premature babies.

Premature birth can lead to many serious birth defects including:

  • learning disabilities
  • mental retardation
  • cerebral palsy

Did you use Paxil during Pregnancy?

If you used Paxil during pregnancy and your child suffers from a Paxil birth defect, please contact us today as you might be entitled to compensation. Additionally, if you need any further information on Paxil birth defects, please contact our offices.

Published November 17, 2011 by